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Katherine Furniss, Biology


Recognizable by its gray/brown bark and long needles in groups of five, the eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) is found in forests ranging throughout the North Eastern United States and South Eastern Canada , (Figure 1). White pines have been planted in the St. John’s Abbey Arboretum (SJAA) dating from 200 years ago to 2018. Understanding the genetic diversity of the white pine population in the SJAA is important in understanding the ability of the population to respond to disease, such as white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), and climate stressors, such as warming temperatures and increased rainfall. Populations with higher genetic diversity will be less susceptible to future dangers. This study analyzed genetic diversity through analysis of 10 microsatellite loci by using a touchdown PCR protocol. An assessment of the genetic diversity of eastern white pine in the SJAA will allow proper land management action to sustain or restore a healthy population.